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1. Unholy Magic (7-2010)

1. Unholy Magic (7/2010)

Downside Ghosts series, also known as the Chess Putnam series is written by Stacia Kane, who also wrote the Megan Chase series

Genres and Sub-GenresEdit

Urban Fantasy / Dystopian

Brief Series Description or Overview Edit

✥ The Chess Putnam series is a cross between Ghostbusters and Escape From New York, with an awesome punk rock soundtrack, black magic, greasers, drugs, human sacrifices, and a black 1969 Chevelle. – from StaciaKane.com

✥ BLURB: The world is not the way it was. The dead have risen, and the living are under attack. The powerful Church of Real Truth, in charge since the government fell, has sworn to reimburse citizens being harassed by the deceased. Enter Chess Putnam, a fully tattooed witch and freewheeling ghost hunter. She’s got a real talent for banishing the wicked dead. But Chess is keeping a dark secret: She owes a lot of money to a murderous drug lord named Bump, who wants immediate payback in the form of a dangerous job that involves black magic, human sacrifice, a nefarious demonic creature, and enough wicked energy to wipe out a city of souls. Toss in lust for a rival gang leader and a dangerous attraction to Bump’s ruthless enforcer, and Chess begins to wonder if the rush is really worth it. Hell, yeah. ~ Goodreads | Unholy Ghosts

Lead's Species Edit

  • Witch

Primary Supe Edit

  • Ghosts

What Sets it ApartEdit

Narrative Type and Narrators Edit

  • First Person narrative by Chess Putnam.

Books in Series Edit

Downside Ghosts / Chess Putnam series;

  1. Unholy Ghosts (2010)
  2. Unholy Magic (2010)
  3. City of Ghosts (2010)
  4. Sacrificial Magic (2012)
  5. Chasing Magic (2012)
  6. Untitled (no set release date)

Shorts, Anthologies and GuidesEdit

  • 0.1. The Brave Tale of Maddie Carver (2010) ~ prequel, free story
  • 0.5. "Finding Magic" (6/2012) ~ e-book novella
  • 1.5. "Wrong Ways Down" (8/2013) ~ e-book novella
  • 3.5. "Rick the Brave" in Home Improvement: Undead Edition Anthology (8/2011)
  • 3.6. "Home" (4/2012) ~ e-book novella
  • 5.5. "Close to You" (2013)
  • Keeping It Close: A Short Story (2013)

Other Writings Edit

Megan Chase series:

  1. Personal Demons (2008)
  2. Demon Inside (2009)
  3. Demon Possessed (2010)

Other Series by Author onsite Edit

Megan Chase series

World Building Edit

Setting Edit

  • Downside
  • Eternal City
  • Triumph City

Supernatural Elements Edit

Witches, ghosts, ghost hunter, con psychic, psychopomp, binding spell, , ,

Glossary: Edit

  • Church of Real Truth: saved the world from masses of murderous ghosts, now they on top, controlling everything
  • City of Eternity: murderous ghosts have been banished to there by the Church of Real Truth

Groups & Organizations:Edit

  • Church of Real Truth:
  • The Lamaru: An evil magic sect

World Edit

At the top of this world is the Church, which saved the world 24 years ago when all of dead arose as ghosts and killed millions of people. The Church was able to banish most of the ghosts to the City of Eternity, a huge underground cavern where the dead are imprisoned forever. Unfortunately, some ghosts still remain on earth, haunting various locations that are generally related to their previous mortal lives. Ghosts in this world lose their humanity after death, existing as vicious spirits seeking to kill as many humans as possible. If they remain on mortal earth, they can manifest into beings solid enough to brandish lethal weapons—not to mention their very sharp fangs. The only protection people have against the ghosts is the Church and its witches, who are the only ones with the ability to banish ghosts to the City of Eternity. Now, most citizens believe in no god and have no faith; they believe only the "Truth" of the Church.

As the series opens, Chess has two love interests: Terrible, Bump's thuggish enforcer, and Lex, her drug dealer and the son of Slobag, a rival drug dealer. She has feelings for both of them but believes that each wants her only for sex. Chess's romantic situation changes as the series progresses as she eventually begins to finds true love with Terrible, although her romantic path is, of course, filled with anguished self-deprecation and stormy misunderstandings every step of the way.

ProtaogonistEdit

Caesura ("Chess") Putnam has all of those traits of a UF heroine—sarcastic, brave, good-hearted, etc—but, they are overpowered by her horrific drug addiction, which began during her childhood when various foster parents fed her drugs to keep her passive and easy to control. Now, Chess is a full-blown junkie, using vast quantities of pills and powders to get through each and every day. She uses her drugs to blot out memories of extensive abuse during a childhood spent in a series of awful foster homes where she was routinely subjected to horrific sexual abuse and other torturous treatment. Although the drugs frequently muddle her mind, Chess is a powerful witch and has a successful career working for the Church as a debunker, investigating citizens' claims that ghosts are haunting their homes. Her self-image is mostly negative; she views herself as one big scar—unlovable and unwanted by anyone. This self view causes huge problems in both her professional, and especially in her personal, relationships.

Chess is a heartbreakingly courageous heroine as she keeps trying to play the cards she has been dealt in life. Kane does a great job with the development of Chess's character as the series progresses. Chess is always conflicted between her job with the Church and her debt to Bump, and she must also deal with her relationship with Terrible as the two become closer and closer. Terrible is a totally non-typical hero, but as loutish as he may appear when you first meet him in Unholy Ghosts, his character grows gradually into a gentle and loving companion to Chess as the series goes on, even though he maintains his gruff and brutish exterior to everyone else. The plots are well developed, and the action is compelling. ~ from: Fang-tastic Fiction: Stacia Kane: CHESS PUTNAM/DOWNSIDE GHOSTS

Sidekick Edit

Name: — What: — Sidekick-to: — About: — Book First Seen In:

Characters Chart Edit

resources to fill out list:

Characters What About
Chess Putnam Ghost Hunter; Witch Protagonist—a debunker who can detect lies about hauntings, but she is also a ghost hunter; works for the Church as a debunker, drug addict. Terrible's girlfriend
Bump Drug Dealer Bump is a drug dealer who Chess Putnam owes money to in Unholy Ghosts.
Lex Son of a Drug Dealer Lex is the son of a drug dealer. tries to strike up a romance with Chess in bk-4
Terrible Chess's Boyfriend Bump's right hand man, enforcer; thinks he might be about 27-28; Chess's boyfriend in the book 34;
Elder Griffin Chess's sole Church friend has a fondness for Chess and she for him; realizes that Chess has shared her power with Terrible;
Agnew Doyle Debunker for the Church
Brain Homeless kid
Goody Tremmell Record Keeper
Slobag Drug lord Bump's rival and Lex's father
Grand Elder Church Leader Head of the Church of Truth
Amy Terrible's "date"
Edsel booth owner Owns a booth in the market
Roger Pyle Actor Chess investigates after his claim of a haunting
Kymmi Pyle Roger's wife
Arden Pyle Roger's daughter
Oliver Fletcher Roger's business partner
Merritt Guard at the Pyle's house grew up in a foster home like Chess and knew her from that time; former lover.
Elder Griffin church official Highest church official in Triumph.
Lauren Abrams Black Squad Her father is a Grand Elder. She's working with Chess on a case.
Dana Wright Debunker for Church of Truth
Madame Lupita Medium aka Irene Lowe; Ran illegal séances until she was caught by Chess. Scheduled for execution
Eric Van Helm
Arthur Maguinness Potion seller in the Market
Beulah community liaison Lex’s sister; Mercy Lewis Second School's community liaison
Monica Freeman Secretary to Master Elder Conrad Real name is Chelsea, Lucy's cousin.
Master Elder Conrad school’s headmaster
Aros Debunker quit a case that was reassigned to Chess.
Lucy McShane ghost Committed suicide at the school years ago. Sightings of her ghost at the school have been claimed.
Gia Student at Mercy Lewis Second School
Wen Li Teacher at Mercy Lewis Second School
Martha Li Married to Wen Li
Elder Conrad Headmaster of Mercy Lewis Second School;
Bill Pritchard Doctor
Mr. and Mrs. Darnell ghost claimer Couple whose ghost claim was debunked by Chess
Galena Edsel's wife
Keith Richard Freeling Elder Griffin's fiance.
Rickride Drug dealer
Marianna Blake Young woman from the uptown side of town who was hanging out with Rickride, one of Bump's dealers.
Kyle Baker Marianna's father

To expand the table, in Edit–Visual mode, right-press on a Row of the table (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add Row or Column. Or, in Source Mode: copy-paste rows.

Stacia Kane

Stacia Kane

Author Edit

Stacia Kane

Bio: Stacia Kane is the author of the light-hearted romantic urban fantasy "Megan Chase" series starting with PERSONAL DEMONS. She currently writes the gritty dystopian urban fantasy "Downside" series starring Chess Putnam and featuring ghosts, human sacrifice, drugs, witchcraft, punk rock, and a badass '69 Chevelle. She bleaches her hair and wears a lot of black. ~ Goodreads | Stacia Kane

Cover ArtistEdit

Artist: Juliana Kolesova

Artist: David Stevenson—books 4 and 5. 

Awards Edit

Publishing InformationEdit

  • Publisher: Del Rey
  • Author Page:
  • Bk-1: Paperback, 339 pages, Pub: May 25-2010, ISBN-0345515579

Book Cover Blurbs Edit

BOOK ONE BLURB—Unholy Ghosts (2010): The world is not the way it was. The dead have risen, and the living are under attack. The powerful Church of Real Truth, in charge since the government fell, has sworn to reimburse citizens being harassed by the deceased. Enter Chess Putnam, a fully tattooed witch and freewheeling ghost hunter. She’s got a real talent for banishing the wicked dead. But Chess is keeping a dark secret: She owes a lot of money to a murderous drug lord named Bump, who wants immediate payback in the form of a dangerous job that involves black magic, human sacrifice, a nefarious demonic creature, and enough wicked energy to wipe out a city of souls. Toss in lust for a rival gang leader and a dangerous attraction to Bump’s ruthless enforcer, and Chess begins to wonder if the rush is really worth it. Hell, yeah. ~ Goodreads | Unholy Ghosts

BOOK TWO BLURB—Unholy Magic (2010): ENEMIES DON'T NEED TO BE ALIVE TO BE DEADLY. For Chess Putnam, finding herself near-fatally poisoned by a con psychic and then stopping a murderous ghost is just another day on the job. As an agent of the Church of Real Truth, Chess must expose those looking to profit from the world's unpleasant little poltergeist problem--humans filing false claims of hauntings--all while staving off any undead who really are looking for a kill. But Chess has been extra busy these days, coping with a new "celebrity" assignment while trying on her own time to help some desperate prostitutes. Someone's taking out the hookers of Downside in the most gruesome way, and Chess is sure the rumors that it's the work of a ghost are way off base. But proving herself right means walking in the path of a maniac, not to mention standing between the two men in her life just as they--along with their ruthless employers--are moving closer to a catastrophic showdown. Someone is dealing in murder, sex, and the supernatural, and once again Chess finds herself right in the crossfire. ~ Goodreads | Unholy Magic (Downside Ghosts, #2)

BOOK THREE BLURB—City of Ghosts (2010): IT’S A THIN LINE BETWEEN ALIVE AND UNDEAD. Chess Putnam has a lot on her plate. Mangled human corpses have started to show up on the streets of Downside, and Chess’s bosses at the Church of Real Truth have ordered her to team up with the ultra-powerful Black Squad agency to crack the grisly case. Chess is under a binding spell that threatens death if she talks about the investigation, but the city’s most notorious crime boss—and Chess’s drug dealer—gets wind of her new assignment and insists on being kept informed. If that isn’t bad enough, a sinister street vendor appears to have information Chess needs. Only he’s not telling what he knows, or what it all has to do with the vast underground City of Eternity. Now Chess will have to navigate killer wraiths, First Elders, and a lot of seriously nasty magic—all while coping with some not-so-small issues of her own. And the only man Chess can trust to help her through it all has every reason to want her dead ~ Goodreads | City of Ghosts (Downside Ghosts, #3) by Stacia Kane

BOOK FOUR BLURB—Sacrificial Magic (2012): READING, WRITING, AND RAISING THE DEAD. — When Chess Putnam is ordered by an infamous crime boss—who also happens to be her drug dealer—to use her powers as a witch to solve a grisly murder involving dark magic, she knows she must rise to the challenge. Adding to the intensity: Chess’s boyfriend, Terrible, doesn’t trust her, and Lex, the son of a rival crime lord, is trying to reignite the sparks between him and Chess. Plus there’s the little matter of Chess’s real job as a ghost hunter for the Church of Real Truth, investigating reports of a haunting at a school in the heart of Downside. Someone seems to be taking a crash course in summoning the dead—and if Chess doesn’t watch her back, she may soon be joining their ranks. As Chess is drawn into a shadowy world of twisted secrets and dark violence, it soon becomes clear that she’s not going to emerge from its depths without making the ultimate sacrifice ~ Goodreads | Sacrificial Magic (Downside Ghosts, #4) by Stacia Kane

BOOK FOUR BLURB—Chasing Magic (2012): A DEADLY HIGH Magic-wielding Churchwitch and secret addict Chess Putnam knows better than anyone just how high a price people are willing to pay for a chemical rush. But when someone with money to burn and a penchant for black magic starts tampering with Downside’s drug supply, Chess realizes that the unlucky customers are paying with their souls—and taking the innocent with them, as the magic-infused speed compels them to kill in the most gruesome ways possible. As if the streets weren’t scary enough, the looming war between the two men in her life explodes, taking even more casualties and putting Chess squarely in the middle. Downside could become a literal ghost town if Chess doesn’t find a way to stop both the war and the dark wave of death-magic, and the only way to do that is to use both her addiction and her power to enter the spell and chase the magic all the way back to its malevolent source. Too bad that doing so will probably kill Chess—if the war doesn’t first destroy the man who’s become her reason for living. ~ Goodreads | Chasing Magic (Downside Ghosts, #5) by Stacia Kane

First Sentences Edit

  1. Unholy Ghosts — Had the man in front of her not already been dead, Chess probably would have tried to kill him.
  2. Unholy Magic — Ghosts were stronger underground; no witch willingly went below the surface of the earth, not without a Church edict or a death wish.
  3. City of Ghosts — The guillotine waited for them, its blackened wood dark and threatening against the naked cement walls of the Execution Room.
  4. Sacrificial Magic — Had the roof over her head not been a broken mess, shredded insulation and pieces of tile dangling like the rotting innards of the living thing it had once been, she wouldn’t be getting hit on the head with cold droplets of water at odd, annoying intervals.
  5. Chasing Magic — All of the documents were in place: the Affidavit of Spectural Fraud, the Statement of Truth, two Orders of Imprisonment and two orders of Rellinquishment, and, of course, the list of Church approved attorneys.

Quotes Edit

Trivia Edit

Awards Edit

Read Alikes (similar elements) Edit

Addicts

Ghosts as main sure

General

See Category links at bottom of page.

Notes Edit

See Also Edit

See Category links at bottom of this page

External References Edit

Books:

Summaries:

Characters, etc:

Series Reviews:

Book Reviews:

Interviews

Articles

Author:

Community, Fan Sites:

Gallery of Book Covers Edit

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